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$6.3M in Operating Support Awarded to 345 Cultural Nonprofits

Bethann Steiner, Public Affairs Director

10 students stand in front of a row of cabbages and kale, mountains and fall foliage in the background
Farm-Based Education Network doing an education program at Berkshire Botanical Garden.

A key goal of Mass Cultural Council’s FY18-23 Strategic Plan is to make targeted investments into the cultural sector that enhance the Commonwealth’s economic vitality by helping both artists and cultural organizations thrive. Our Cultural Investment Portfolio (CIP) program strives to meet this objective with cultural nonprofits.

Mass Cultural Council’s Cultural Investment Portfolio provides both general operating and project-based grants to nonprofit cultural organizations. The Portfolio strengthens a cultural sector that, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, generated $1.2 billion in economic activity, created thousands of jobs, and delivered programs to more than 20 million people a year in Massachusetts. Not just a funder, CIP is also a trusted source of invaluable expertise, advocacy, and peer dialogue for these organizations.

Annual Portfolio grants provide unrestricted general operating support to nonprofit organizations with an established record of programmatic service and administrative stability that provide public programs in the arts, sciences, and humanities in Massachusetts. For cultural nonprofits not yet accepted into the Portfolio, Gateway grants are available. These two-year operating support grants for organizations and programs with public cultural programming that benefit Massachusetts residents are designed to be the entry point, or gateway, into the Cultural Investment Portfolio.

This fiscal year (FY22), Mass Cultural Council’s Spending Plan invests a total of $6,308,600 into Portfolio and Gateway grants, thereby bolstering 345 nonprofit arts, humanities, and science organizations statewide. These grants provide financial support to organizations who do important work, like connecting children and adults to theater, music, visual art, and film; teaching them about history, literature, and the environment; and introducing them to new ideas and cultural traditions every day. 

Under the direction of the Agency’s new Executive Director, the CIP staff is reviewing our Portfolio, Gateway, and Projects grant programs to ensure Mass Cultural Council is delivering financial support to cultural nonprofits more equitably. Feedback will be collected throughout this process and organizations notified of any changes our governing Council may approve to program guidelines before they are instituted.

See the FY22 Cultural Investment Portfolio Funding List

Applications for Projects grants are currently being accepted. Deadline to apply is November 16, 2021.

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